By Paul M. Banks
ESPN.com Insider listed the current strongest candidates for the open DePaul job. But they dropped the ball on this one. Rumors are UCLA’s Ben Howland is now the front-runner, and the large, Chicago Catholic school has thrown a very expensive multi-year offer at him. More from Bruins Nation.
Yes, we know you need to purchase access to that website in order to see this information. Three brave agents gave their lives in East Germany to bring you what you’ll see next. The ESPN link, offers a quick description of each candidate, but didn’t say a whole lot about their chances. This makes sense as the University still has not interviewed anyone for the job, and it’s anybody’s ballgame right now.
However, if they’re serious about building an on-campus facility, this job becomes 1,000 times more desirable. ESPN’s list included (for reasons that no one can explain) interim coach Tracy Webster. Seriously, why would the University go Monster.com style with an internet job board posting, if they were going to just keep what they already have?
Anyway, here’s how the race might shape up. (In no particular order with my analysis, not the World Wide Leader’s)
Steve Lavin – Former UCLA leader and current ESPN personality would bring tons of media attention to the program. He’s likely interested even though many people have (probably incorrectly) assumed he’s not interested in coaching again due to the fact it’s been more than a few years since he last had a head coaching job.
Tyrone Corbin – DePaul alum, currently an assistant with the Jazz, is today considered a front-runner.
Rod Strickland – One of the most famous players in program history, and current Kentucky assistant. Off-the-record sometime, ask me about a grade-fixing story I heard about him from a friend of mine who taught literature there. For a non-bookworm, Strickland had a surprisingly articulate response to his alleged “hypothetical” cheating situation.
Jamie Dixon – Questions about him taking the DePaul job came up during the Milwaukee NCAA Regional. He gave the stock answer/non-response cliches to the press. Why would he leave Pitt for this? Seriously why?
Paul Hewitt – Georgia Tech may have buyer’s remorse on his contract. Hasn’t done much with all the talent he assembled for the Ramblin Wreck. DPU would be a step down.
Brad Stevens – Why did ESPN even mention Butler’s head man? It would take a LOT OF MONEY to make this happen.
Tony Barbee – UTEP leader can start interviewing now.
Scott Drew – No way
Fran McCaffery – Siena coach could take the next step up, he’s a very likely candidate.
Chris Lowery – Southern Illinois headman may want to stay in Carbondale for all the state-of-the-art facilities they’re adding at “Floor Burn U.” Also, his stock has dropped considerably these past couple years.
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